“It’s not what you can buy it for…it’s how much you can sell it for that matters most.”
Do you wish you had more time to merchandise your store – to really put some thought into what products are presented to your customers? Carpet One Floor & Home members don’t have to find the time to merchandise. They have a team of experienced merchandisers on their side.
Meet Jim Aaron, Vice President of Merchandising for Carpet One Floor & Home. He’ll tell you that retailers who understand how to merchandise and present products in a way that appeals to today’s flooring consumer s are the ones who sell more, at higher prices.
Jim has spent over 28 years visiting thousands of stores throughout North America.  From his days as a Territory Manager with Mohawk, to his tenure as University Educator for CCA Global Partners, to his current role as VP for  1000 Carpet One Floor & Home stores, Jim has first-hand knowledge of what works and what produces more sales at higher profits.
You may soon have Jim and his team on your side but in the meantime, we’ve asked Jim to share some of his advice.
First, a lot of people think that Merchandising and Buying are the same thing. So, what’s the difference?
All successful retailers know how to buy – to get the lowest possible cost on a product.  That’s important, especially in an industry like ours where most products are commodities. Our founding 13 members understood that as important as it was to leverage their combined resources to buy better, it was more important to teach and train retailers how to sell more at higher profits. Merchandising is all about the sell.  How much can I sell a product for and how much profit can I make is the key to Merchandising.  Merchandising is all about presenting, positioning, promoting, and pricing product in a way that entices a consumer to want it and be willing to pay the price you are asking for it.
What is your #1 Merchandising tip?
Effective Merchandising goes beyond just the product.  We Merchandise all our added value services such as our Healthier Installation System, our Beautiful Guarantee, and our SelectAFloor Metal Warranties. Our best retailers understand what I call the “entourage” effect.  We teach sales professionals how to build the Carpet One Story into every product presentation by incorporating all the added value services into their pitch.  Merchandising with the right product demonstrations, the right messaging and signage, and the right visual images that appeal to our target customer’s dreams, are all important and when presented properly, by a well-trained sales professional, our stores get out of the race to the bottom by offering more than just a product at a price.
What’s the difference between a private label and a private brand?
Private labeling and private branding are ways that retailers who carry the same products as their competitors can compete. It makes it difficult, if not impossible for customers to “shop” their products. But for a small, independent retailer, private labeling can be expensive and time consuming. Private branding is nearly impossible.
Private labeling involves cataloging all your products, renaming and relabeling so that your customers will not know the manufacturer name. Private branding  – what we do at Carpet One – takes this strategy to the next level. We work directly with the mills to create brands that have attributes, styles and colors that are exclusive to our brand.
What do Carpet One members get in the way of support to be better retail Merchants?
Through the tools we provide members – Our University for training, our crowd sourcing technology called CONNECT where members share best practices, our intranet and webinar communication vehicles, and our store planning guidelines developed by FRCH a world-class leading retail environment firm, our members get every tool and tactic they need to sell more at higher prices.  Our displays, labels on our samples, selling systems, and exclusive brands allows our members to sell what the competition cannot offer
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